Hulu is tightening up on password sharing from next month

Hulu logo on a phone screen
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Hulu has notified customers in an email about a subscriber agreement update starting March 14, prohibiting the sharing of Hulu logins with non-household members.
  • Only devices associated with the primary personal residence can use the same login, similar to Netflix's policy.
  • Hulu will analyze the use of your account and reserves the right to "limit or terminate access" for rule-breakers.

Hulu is preparing to stop users from sharing passwords with those outside their homes, joining the streaming crackdown trend.

Variety reports that Hulu has dropped a heads-up to its customers about a subscriber agreement update kicking in on March 14. The agreement's updated version dated January 25 explicitly says users can't share their Hulu logins with non-household members.

In an email to subscribers on Wednesday, the Disney-owned company also informed subscribers about a tweak in the terms of service, honing in on the sharing of passwords, as caught by a Reddit user (via The Verge).

Hulu email notifying users about its password-sharing crackdown

(Image credit: Majestyk_Melons / Reddit)

"We're adding limitations on sharing your account outside of your household, and explaining how we may assess your compliance with these limitations," Hulu stated in the email.

There's no big surprise here. Disney, set to fully take the reins of Hulu this year, is putting the kibosh on password sharing not just for Hulu but also for Disney Plus. The company has already laid down the rules in Canada, and you can bet it's heading to the United States soon.

Disney has also made some changes to the fine print on Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus. The services spell it out in their terms of service: don't try to "impersonate" an account owner, basically meaning, don't use their password.

Hulu's rule is clear: unless your service tier allows it, no sharing your subscription beyond your household, which means "the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the individuals who reside therein." In simple terms, if they're not under your roof, they can't ride on your subscription, similar to some of your favorite streaming services like Netflix.

On smart TVs, things might get a bit tricky. Netflix ties the household to the account holder's main TV. If Hulu follows suit, watching it on your TV from a different spot might not work unless you connect a separate device to it.

The email and terms of service don't mention how Hulu will check if you're playing by the rules or how fast it'll drop the hammer. What's clear is that the platform will "analyze the use of your account" and "limit or terminate access to the service" if you're caught breaking the rules.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • fuzzylumpkin
    People who want to share their services with family members should say goodbye to Hulu.

    And Netflix.

    What this is leading us too is a resurge in pirated content.
  • Sambo41
    What does this mean for our phones and tablets. We use our portables when we travel. If we are not going to be able to use Hulu or Netflix while away from home I will be canceling them for sure!